Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Iron Cupcake: London first challenge - chocolate

I’ve read Sandy’s blog for a long time following the exploits of Iron Cupcake in the USA and often lamented that we didn’t have one in the UK. After waiting for an Iron Cupcake: London to start up it finally dawned on me that maybe I should start it....so I did!
The concept of Iron Cupcake is simple: each month there's a theme, entrants bake cupcakes that address that theme, everyone gets together and eats lots of cupcakes, a winner is declared.

Iron Cupcake: London (ICL) held its first challenge on Monday 1st June 2009 with a theme of ‘chocolate’. You never know whether your obsession is shared by anyone else – for all I knew I might be sitting in a room on my own all evening – but no! London delivered!

ICL’s first challenge had a stunning TEN entries and I’m delighted to say lots of dedicated eaters too. The standard was thrillingly high and everybody tucked in to the delights on offer – it’s amazing how happy everyone is when the only food on offer is cake!

The stakes were high...money can’t buy you one of these...well, it can, because I bought them but you know what I mean:

The prize bag was overflowing....

...with these goodies:

Here is our worthy winner, Anna, receiving the good news. Her entry of chocolate cinnamon sponge with honeycomb buttercream received rave reviews from everyone:

So, sit back, loosen your waistband, have a hanky ready to mop up any drool and see what baked delights you missed out on........

Emma’s chocolate chipotle cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Emma judged the spicing of these perfectly – the heat of the chipotle came through gradually and filled your mouth with a spicy warmth that never burned but definitely made itself known.

Heather’s double chocolate cupcakes

Heather's cupcakes were sinfully delicious. The chocolate was intense and moist with the flaked chocolate on top giving a lovely additional texture. One judge said they really “hit the spot”!

Ying’s chocolate orange cupcakes

The chocolate orange ganache topping was so beautiful that it converted two non-chocolate orange eating judges! The balance of textures was a delight – the smooth indulgent ganache had little crispy chocolate orange pieces in it. A very worthy runner-up on the night.

Kelly’s strawberry and white chocolate cupcakes

What I remember most about these was the intense strawberry aroma that announced itself when Kelly took the lid off the storage unit to plate up. The strawberry flavour was so well balanced with the white chocolate and the combination reminded me very much of the lovely strawberry cream in a Quality Street selection.

Randi’s white and dark chocolate cherry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Randi’s rich and dark cupcakes were a sinful treat. If you haven’t tried chocolate, cherry and cream cheese frosting together then you’re missing out because the flavours just explode and zing in your mouth!

Jo’s chocolate and vanilla cupcakes

Ah, chocolate and vanilla – a classic. Never disappoints does it? Jo’s idea of putting the frosting on as a big spiral was inspired. It looks terrific! Expect to see me stealing...ahem, I mean borrowing, this idea and using it on a cupcake soon

Alice’s cherry chocolate cupcakes with amaretto ganache

These were so rich and moist they were positively juicy! Imagine a black forest gateau but without the cream and you will conjure up a pretty good impression of how these tasted. The red sprinkles really ‘pop’ against the dark ganache.

Alice’s vanilla and blueberry cupcakes with sour cream icing

Alice is a girl after my own heart- this was her second entry (she also created the cherry chocolate cupcakes shown above). The sour cream icing was delicious – I’ve never had it before and I instinctively knew that one of the most important moments in my life was happening as I tasted it.

Anna’s chocolate cinnamon cupcakes with honeycomb butter icing

The winning cupcake on the night. The chocolate cinnamon cupcake would have been joyful on its own – Anna balanced the chocolate and spice perfectly. But she didn’t stop there, oh no! Add to that a crisp and flavoursome home made honeycomb crushed up into the butter icing with a shard on top and you have a masterpiece! Anna – your cupcakes rocked!

Katy’s fudge brownie cupcakes

All the benefit of a brownie but the bonus of frosting too! These were rich, dense, moist – everything you want from good brownie. The frosting was intensely chocolaty and – in case you’re wondering – yes, Katy did make those dinky little roses on top!

Special thanks to all the great people who helped me plan the event and run it on the night - one person can never be responsible for something like this and I couldn't have done it without you. Hope your generosity extends to helping me with the next one...speaking of which....

...the next challenge is scheduled for 6th July and the theme is ‘summer fruits’. Hope to see you all there.

I leave you with the victor – well done Anna:

All photos are the property of Dave Shipman and reproduced here with his kind permission.


n said...

congratulations! it was a lovely evening!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Looking forward to reading all about it. So sorry I couldn't make it - I really hope you'll do another one soon.

Alice said...

Thank you! It was fab to meet such a lovely crowd of fellow bakers/eaters and tuck into such gorgeous cakes. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Anna Downing said...

Me too, I can't wait! What a great evening, I can't think of anything else I'd rather do! Thank you :D

Soo said...

It was a brilliant event. I'm really loorking forward to the next one -- not least because no nasty chocolate allergy will stop me from tasting the entries!!

Heather Rene said...

i agree with all the other comments. Great night. We all had such a good time!!

Yankee in England said...

what a fun night thanks so much already hunting for recipes for next month can't wait.

Lisa said...

I done died and gone to heaven. :)

diving Boracay said...

I am craving for these..

Kirk said...

I am envious - would that I could have been there - perhaps one day. Then again I wonder what 'iron cupcake' translates to in Germany and could we perhaps have one here...
I shall think about this.

Big Boys Oven said...

this is awesome, can I reun this in Kuala Lumpur, if can please email me the details! sunny & sid

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Sunny & Sid

For more details check out the site of the originator:
You will need to speak to her to set one up in KL

Hope you do!

Anonymous said...

Iron cupcake!?! I've never heard of such! They all look outrageous!

Fiona said...


Katie said...

Wow sounds like a fantastic day and so many tasty entries. Would love to participate myself one day!

C said...

Congratulations on a successful event!!! It looks fab, and all the entries look stunning - wish all my cupcakes looked as good!

Margaret said...

Well done CC. Really pleased it went so well for you, the cakes look wonderful.

glamah16 said...

What a cool event you put together.I really need to explore cupcakes more.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

oh my god! I'm about to have a heart attack! CUPCAKES, and chocolate cupcakes at that! Well done on the great organizing and congratulations to Anna!

Helen said...

Well done!

I am so annoyed that I missed it and hopefully will make the next one!

I heart cupcakes said...

What a great idea - i shall definitely try and make it along in August - would be great to take part!